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Geographical's pick of the books: May 2021

  • Written by  Geographical
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Geographical's pick of the books: May 2021
21 May
2021
Read on for all of Geographical’s May book reviews
Finding the Mother Tree

BOOK OF THE MONTH: FINDING THE MOTHER TREE: Uncovering the Wisdom and Intelligence of the Forest by Suzanne Simard 

Forester Suzanne Simard becomes a ‘forest detective’ and begins to challenge the short-sighted management practices that threaten the long-term survival of forests. One very hot British Columbian summer, she begins to discover types of fungal network – ‘mycorrhiza’ or, literally, ‘fungus root’ – that trade ‘water and nutrients from the soil in exchange for sugars... from their plant partners’. Hundreds of them, all doing different tasks. 

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THE POWER OF GEOGRAPHY: Ten Maps That Reveal the Future of Our World by Tim Marshall 

Tim Marshall follows up on his hugely successful Prisoners of Geography, offering ten new case studies – Australia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the UK, Greece, Turkey, the Sahel, Ethiopia, Spain and space. Once again, he demonstrates how his chosen states have been, and always will be, influenced by geography, although this time with a closer eye on the future.

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the foghorn s lament

THE FOGHORN’S LAMENT: The Disappearing Music of the Coast by Jennifer Lucy Allan

There was a time, in the early 1900s, when fog horns bellowed out from all along Britain’s coastlines. Today, they’ve largely been silenced, but they still linger on in collective memories, informing notions of lonely seascapes and, at times, Britishness itself. Jennifer Lucy Allan, an academic and self-confessed strange-sound hunter, charts the rise and fall of this powerful industrial horn

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The Geographical Bookshop has been set up with BookShop UK, a new online bookshop with a mission to financially support local, independent bookshops. Geographical will receive 10% from anything purchased using the links here. A matching 10% goes to BookShop UK’s pool of independent bookshops. By design, BookShop UK gives away over 75% of its profit margin to stores, publications, authors and others who make up the thriving, inspirational culture around books.


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THE SLEEPING BEAUTIES: And Other Stories of Mystery Illness by Suzanne O’Sullivan 

History is peppered with reports of mysterious illnesses: dancing plagues, fainting fits and nuns who won’t stop meowing. We might consider them oddities of the past but, as Suzanne O’Sullivan explores in The Sleeping Beauties, strange sicknesses continue to haunt modern communities.

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THE BRILLIANT ABYSS by Helen Scales 

Helen Scales details the astounding leaps forward we’ve made in the past 20 years in understanding the deep ocean. She shares the excitement that advances in technology and hard scientific graft have delivered in a relatively short time span. As with her previous best-selling books, Scales has an uncanny ability to make complex science engaging and entertaining.

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THE NIGHTINGALE: Notes on a songbird by Sam Lee

Unassuming in looks and manner (‘simple and yet so elegant’) the nightingale is revered across its wide range for its song and, in turn, has been immortalised in many more of the human-made variety. Sam Lee, a folk singer, nightingale enthusiast and campaigner has compiled a pleasantly diverse range of information about the bird in this book.

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